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Council Board

The Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, today announced the appointment of Andrew Kerr, Ewart Keep, Irene McAra-McWilliam, John Wallace, Lorna Jack, Peter Mathieson and Sheila Duncan as Members of the Scottish Funding Council.


Andrew Kerr has considerable experience in high-performing organisations, chairing and being chaired by others, working to the Nolan principles and providing effective leadership and getting the best out of people, teams, committees and Boards. He has chaired several high-level Boards such as the Chairs and Chief Executives of the NHS, a variety of Scottish Cabinet sub committees, he is currently chairing the Board of Quality Scotland and South Lanarkshire College. He has extensive knowledge of business and commerce both as policy maker and as a practitioner and has worked in the public, private and third sectors. As chair of South Lanarkshire College, he has overseen a strategic plan which delivers a balanced budget and SLC is one of the highest performing colleges in Scotland. Andrew shares with many the mission of changing lifetime opportunities for students supporting economic growth, matching ambitions of students to the economy and positive destinations.

Ewart Keep holds a chair in Education, Training and Skills at the Department of Education, Oxford University. He has researched and written on the links between skills and economic performance; the interaction  between economic development, business support, innovation and education and training; the workplace as a learning environment; and adult and lifelong learning. He has advised the UK government departments, parliamentary committees at Holyrood and Westminster, the OCED and the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

Irene McAra-McWilliam has international experience of creative leadership having worked as Director of Design Research for multinational Philips Electronics. She is currently Director of The Glasgow School of Art and was responsible for establishing GSA’s Highlands and Islands Campus in Moray and the GSA’s new Innovation School. Irene was awarded an OBE in recognition of her work in Higher Education, Innovation and Design.

John Wallace has spent a lifetime in the Creative Industries, firstly as a performer/player/manager and latterly as an educator. Educated at Buckhaven High School and Kings College Cambridge, he spent 30 years in London’s classical music sector and contributed to 600 CDS (30 solo albums). He later performed as a soloist, most famously with Kiri Te Kanawa to a live TV audience of 750 million people, at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. John returned to Scotland in 2002 as Principal of the RSAMD, transforming this into the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the first such interdisciplinary Dance/Drama/Music/Film/Technical and Production Arts institution in Europe. Leaving in 2014 he became Vice President Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences of the Royal Society of Edinburgh where he deepened his knowledge of the totality of Scotland’s thriving Further and Higher Education sectors. John now chairs the Music Education Partnership Group representing 60 organisations across the world-leading formal and informal music education sector of Scotland. John brings deep and broad knowledge of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Scotland and internationally to the table.

Lorna Jack has been the Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, the professional body of 12,000 Scottish Solicitors since January 2009, leading the organisation through a program of modernisation and reform. That transformation continues with a bolder, more ambitious strategy for 2015-2020. Since February 2019, Lorna has been Chair of the Highlands and Islands Airports Limited, a Scottish Government owned company which runs 11 airports including Inverness and Dundee, having served as a Non-Executive and Audit committee Chair for previous four years. She is a Trustee and Treasurer of McConnell International Foundation. She served as an independent member of the Court of Aberdeen University from November 2017 until October 2019. Lorna is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, and a graduate of the University of Aberdeen.

Peter Mathieson was educated in Cornwall and graduated in medicine with First Class Honours from the University of London in 1983. He was awarded a PhD by the University of Cambridge in 1992 and became Director of Studies for Clinical Medicine at Christ’s College, Cambridge following this. In 1995 Peter moved to Bristol as the foundation Professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Bristol where he was later appointed Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry in 2008. In April 2014, Peter assumed office as the President and Vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, a post he held until January 2018. Peter is currently the Principal of the University of Edinburgh.

Sheila Duncan has over 20 years business experience and during her career has held a number of senior HR positions in both Financial services and the Energy sector. She is currently the UK HR Director at Scottish Power, part of the Iberdrola group, she is a member of the Scottish Power Executive Team with responsibilities for Health and Safety, IT, Business Services as well as Human Resources. Previously, she completed international assignments in the USA as Chief H.R. Officer at Avangrid, the US subsidiary of Iberdrola. Throughout her career, Sheila has been strongly committed to education and lifelong learning, championing diversity, inclusion and accessibility for all irrespective of background. Sheila holds an
M.A. (Hons) from the University of Glasgow and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development.


The appointments will be for four years and will run from 4 November 2019 to 3 November 2023.